Incisiv, a next-generation industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands help navigate digital disruption, announced today the release of its 2023 Omnichannel Customer Service Index in partnership with Nuance Communications, Inc., a leader in conversational AI technology.
The retail industry is undergoing a major shift driven by the uncertain economic environment and changing consumer behavior. One in three shoppers will switch to a new brand after one bad experience. While retailers across segments have invested significantly in shoring up digital capabilities around top of funnel engagement and fulfillment, customer service capabilities continue to lag. Customers expect expedited, personalized, emphatic, and consistent service and support experience delivered through the right balance of self-service options, AI tools, and human touch.
According to the index, shoppers’ customer service expectations vary significantly and chat bots have become a popular medium of communication. The report also shows that retailers still need to evolve their digital capabilities to meet shopper expectations:
- 91% of customer service agents provide in-depth knowledge of the product, while only 34% provide a personalized experience
- 95% of customer service agents can help with payment methods, while only 4% have access to cart information
- 82% of retailers have IVR (interactive voice response), while only 29% of retailer IVRs have a self-service option for order related issues
- Average call waiting time was under two minutes for 70% of retailers, while for 15% of the retailers the call did not connect, and for 10% retailers the wait time was more than 20 minutes.
Through Incisiv’s assessment methodology, 20 brands were assessed as Leaders. The complete list of leaders assessed by Incisiv is available to download here www.nuance.com/2023retailbenchmark.
“Retail is a highly competitive industry, and impeccable customer service is a ‘must have’ to stay ahead of the curve,” said Gaurav Pant, Chief Insights Officer, Incisiv. “Our benchmark report shows that there is a significant opportunity for retailers to improve customer service capabilities, and ultimately drive customer retention. Retailers who offer the right balance of efficient self service options and empathetic human touch will win the customer retention battle. We conducted this study to help brands understand how they compare to their peers, as well as to help identify high-impact improvement opportunities for digital transformation.”
“Consumers today are expecting retailers to understand their needs and those that can deliver a knowledgeable, personalized, convenient, and engaging experience will realize enormous benefits,” said Tony Lorentzen, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Intelligent Engagement, Nuance. “We see AI as central to a retailer’s ability to deliver predictive, customized, and relevant experiences at scale – whether that’s through chatbots and digital platforms, phone conversations, or in-store. Not only can the right technology automate certain engagements to streamline getting customers what they need, it can also be critical in determining which customer interactions should take place via an automated agent in the first place, and which are best to be handled by a human.”
Click here to download the complete findings from Incisiv’s 2023 Omnichannel Customer Service Index.
Incisiv’s 2023 Omnichannel Customer Service Index is based on insights from its proprietary digital maturity benchmarking methodology, and assesses the digital capability of top retailers across Discovery, Purchase, and Customer Engagement & Service. Incisiv’s digital assessment methodology spans more than 150 customer service capabilities and assesses the top 123 brands across nine industry segments: apparel & accessories, consumer electronics, department stores, general merchandise, grocery, health & beauty, home improvement, specialty, and sporting goods. Attributes are categorized as table-stakes or differentiating capabilities based on their quantified impact on key digital performance metrics such as average order value (AOV), conversion, and customer satisfaction.